February 04, 2009

Associated Press Goes After "Hope" Artist For More Than Change

I was emailed a link to this story from AP's Media Relations office tonight.

It seems that the wire service wants credit and compensation from an artist by the name of Shepard Fairey for his Barack Obama "Hope" image that was admittedly based on the work of an Associated Press photographer, Manny Garcia.

Now it has been a long, long time—circa 1991—that I was in college learning the basics of media law in a journalism class, but my initial reaction was that derivative art was protected under fair use laws.

And upon further review, it's a good thing that I'm not a lawyer.

Fairey has apparently admitted his work came from Garcia's photo. It seems to me that the only real question here is whether or not Fairey settles our of court, or if he presses for a trial that he seems destined to lose.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at February 4, 2009 08:58 PM

For once, I can't figure out which side to take. I am definitely VERY interested to see how it turns out, though!

Brian "Assaulted by the AP" L.

Posted by: Brian L. at February 4, 2009 09:11 PM

Considering that the Obama "DOPE" poster is a work of art, Fairey has an excellent "fair use" argument. If I do a tracing of a painting or a photograph and transform that into an illustration that illustration is generally considered orginal.

It is a technique used by many model-making magazines to illustrate details. For example, you want to show the chain wales on a Revolutionary-era ship, and the only illustration you have is of a model in the National Maritime Museum -- which will charge $200.00 for the privilege of using it. You blow up the image, trace the chain wales, and make a drawing from that.

Original artwork from fair use of a copyright image.

Posted by: Mark L at February 5, 2009 08:50 AM

USA Network has Fairey on one of their "Characters welcome" promos. Makes me change the channel.

Posted by: GnomeSelfBeTrue at February 5, 2009 08:55 AM

Are Manny and the ap then going to re-emburse Pravda for using its study of Lenin from the 30's as the basis for their Obama worship?

Posted by: emdfl at February 5, 2009 09:08 AM

KpdO9s hi! hooli?

Posted by: hoolio at February 9, 2009 06:13 PM